You’ve likely heard of carbon monoxide poisoning but you may not think about it actually happening to your loved ones. Even if you’ve responsibly owned a carbon monoxide detector and check to make sure the batteries are good, have you ever really thought about what in your home can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and ways to prevent it?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that in large quantities can cause death. Most carbon monoxide detectors only sound the alarm when there is a high level of carbon monoxide in the air but even a small leak leading to low levels can still leave you and your family with headaches, fatigue, and nausea and for those with a heart condition, chest pain. By taking preventative measures with your HVAC system you can significantly decrease your chances of having a carbon monoxide leak in your home. Because so many carbon monoxide leaks come from heating systems and ventilation problems, your HVAC service company is perfectly positioned to counsel you on prevention. 

First, the best protection from carbon monoxide is the proper number of CO detectors installed at the right places in the home. That means one on each level of the house plus one inside or directly outside every bedroom. Home heating systems represent only five percent of potential carbon monoxide sources. Though the amount of carbon monoxide produced may not be substantial, it is important to schedule annual maintenance visits by a qualified technician to check all combustion appliances are operating properly and all chimneys and vents are free from obstruction.   

Secondly, schedule regular maintenance checks of your HVAC system. At least once per year, ideally before the start of the heating season starts, have your furnace, vents, chimneys, fireplaces and any fuel-burning appliances inspected by a qualified professional. Best case, establish a relationship with an HVAC service company with a preventative maintenance contract; these contracts make maintenance convenient.

Finally, clean vents and flues. Blocked vents or flues can be a common cause for carbon monoxide leaks. The ventilation system is designed to move these toxic and deadly gases out of your home but if the vents are blocked they have nowhere to go but back into your home. When you bring in a certified HVAC service company, a trained professional will make sure your equipment is safe, clean and in good working order. If it turns out that repairs are needed to make it safe, you implement them at your convenience instead of an emergency basis.

For more advice about recognizing the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and technology to protect your family from the consequences, contact the professionals at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing today.